Today I’m crossing my love for poker with my love for tech by reviewing the iPhone application PokerGauge. You may remember my past iPhone review for one of the first games available for the device, Apple’s own Texas Hold’em game. Today I have a deeper cut from the app store which is marginally less fun, but a hundred times for useful.
PokerGauge is a mobile odds calculator that I deem the mobile odds calculator. While the marketplace for odds calculators on the App Store in no way rivals the plethora of tip calculators (seriously, who buys those?) PokerGauge isn’t the only one on the scene, just the best.
The screen displays a series of gauges, each representing your hand’s chance of winning against 1, 2, 3...up to 9 opponents. The needle of the gauge represents hand strength, to the left (empty if it were a gas gauge) means poor, to the right (full) means strong. To make things even clearer, the gauge changes color, green for play, red for fold. When you touch a gauge, it opens a detailed view outlining the odds of completing all the various poker hands and, if made, the odds of said hand winning. The app even shows pot equity and can be adjusted for a tight or loose table.
I’m not going to recommend whipping out your iPhone at your local cash game. This would fall somewhere in the range of annoying to outright cheating in the eyes of the host. No doubt it would be a shootable offence in the Old West...mostly for witchcraft as this kind of technology didn’t exist back then. As far as live action goes, I would only drop the touch screeny knowledge when proving that you did indeed make the correct play when calling your friend after the hand is won.
I only warn against the perception of cheating, using PokerGauge is in no way cheating in my book. There is no information within that couldn’t be drawn from a book and a calculator. This app’s value is how easily it places the odds at your fingertips. For live play the best practice is to run some common scenarios before the game and commit the odds to memory. This will only make you a better play in the end.
For online play, go sick. Green means play, red means fold is the mantra for the bots that still swarm the less secure online tables. I would imagine running on that same premise alone could make you profitable, but even better is adding your human experience and intuition to the mix. We all know poker is part math/part psychology...allow PokerGauge to help with the math.